September 22, 2014

A rule of thumb for choosing column order in indexes

I wanted to share a little rule of thumb I sometimes use to decide which columns should come first in an index. This is not specific to MySQL, it’s generally applicable to any database server with b-tree indexes. And there are a bunch of subtleties, but I will also ignore those for the sake of […]

Do you always need index on WHERE column ?

I believe we wrote about this before, but this topic popups again and again. Today I’ve read opinion that if we have clause WHERE has_something=1 we should have index on column has_something (the column has two values 0 and 1). In reality the right answer is not so simple.

Using index for ORDER BY vs restricting number of rows.

One interesting problem with MySQL Optimizer I frequently run into is making poor decision when it comes to choosing between using index for ORDER BY or using index for restriction. Consider we’re running web site which sell goods, goods may be from different categories, different sellers different locations which can be filtered on, and there […]

Covering index and prefix indexes

I already wrote in the blog as well mentioned in presentation there is often a choice you have to make between having prefix index – which can be significantly smaller in size and having index being covering index, which means query can be executed using only data from the index without reading the row itself. […]

When EXPLAIN can be misleading

One think I can see with people using EXPLAIN is trusting it too much, ie assuming if number of rows is reported by EXPLAIN is large query must be inefficient. It may not be the case. The question is not only about stats which may be wrong and which is why you may want to […]

Why Index could refuse to work ?

Have you ever seen index which refused to be used even if there is every reason for it to work (from the glance view):

Why on the earth index would not be used you would think, even if MySQL is mentioning it in “possible keys” ? Should you try to force it ?

Using UNION to implement loose index scan in MySQL

One little known fact about MySQL Indexing, however very important for successfull MySQL Performance Optimization is understanding when exactly MySQL is going to use index and how it is going to do them. So if you have table people with KEY(age,zip) and you will run query something like SELECT name FROM people WHERE age BETWEEN […]

Extended EXPLAIN

One nice feature added for EXPLAIN statement in MySQL 4.1 is EXTENDED keyword which provides you with some helpful additional information on query optimization. It should be used together with SHOW WARNINGS to get information about how query looks after transformation as well as what other notes optimizer may wish to tell us. It is […]

MySQL EXPLAIN limits and errors.

Running EXPLAIN for problematic queries is very powerful tool for MySQL Performance optimization. If you’ve been using this tool a lot you probably noticed it is not always provide adequate information. Here is list of things you may wish to watch out. EXPLAIN can be wrong – this does not happen very often but it […]

Indexes in MySQL

MySQL does not always make a right decision about indexes usage. Condsider a simple table:

; 250001 (V1)

; 83036 (V2) (execution time = 110 ms) That is index selectivity by condition (ID1=1) is V2/V1 = 0.3321 or 33.21% It is said (e.g. book “SQL Tuning”) if selectivity over 20% then a full table […]